Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sounding British

Here is a wonderful article on perception in the US of people with British accents. Stephen Fry is the other half of Hugh Laurie (AKA Fry & Laurie, funnily enough) to all Brits (and many others I expect). He's had the most interesting life, and it isn't over yet :) I'm going to have to base a character on this brilliant man.

"I shouldn't be saying this, high treason really, but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there."

Fry - who puts his own melodious tones down to having "vocal cords made of tweed" - made the suggestion after seeing a "blitz of Brits" scoop many of this year's Golden Globes and Oscars.

Stephen Fry
My vocal cords are made of tweed - I give off an air of Oxford donnishness and old BBC wirelesses

Stephen Fry in his autobiography
His comments come as a new generation of British stars are trying to prove themselves in the US, while staying true to their regional roots (and more are landing plum jobs in US hit shows with accents other than their own).

By the way--my British accent is intact. I think I might sound quite sexy if you don't know who you're talking to :)


  1. I've always thought that people with accents sounds sophisticated. Most people anyway. You are definitely one of them. :)

    Do your youngsters still have an accent?

    Your Brit fellow sounds hilarious. Must listen to him sometime.

  2. There is something about a British accent, and Australian for that matter, that lends an air of mystique to the speaker. Perception is everything, innit?

  3. my youngsters are sooo Canadian. At least they still understand what I'm saying to them when I talk about the rubbish :)

    Scott--it is all about perception. I have noted with friends of mine who are pilots. When they get behind 'the wheel' their voice changes. Becomes deeper and more compelling.

    Innit, ain't it ;)

  4. BTW--thanks Meretta LOL.

  5. I loved Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry together in Jeeves and Wooster. Hilarious stuff!

  6. I loved Jeeves and Wooster, Melissa, its been years since I watched that.

  7. I love British accents, Scottish and Irish ones too.

  8. Oh, I'm one of those patsy Americans who immediately add 10 IQ points to anyone with a British accent. I have no reason why. It just sounds so smart.

    So you're like ultra-brain because you are as smart as your accent. I'm also a patsy for Ph.d's.

  9. Rene--it always sounds good, but I'm sure you'd reduce those points back down to 50 if we ever met up LOL.

    But I also love voices, accents etc--I mean DH got immediate attention because of his Irish/Scottish lilt :) Bless him :) And I find some men's voices--like Keifer Sutherland and Sean Bean totally mesmerising regardless of accent...